How to Choose Luxury Rugs to Beautify Your Home

From modern to traditional, measurements to materials, discover expert secrets to help you find the perfect luxury rug for every room.

What are the best quality area rugs?

When developing the interior design of your home, no room is complete without a carefully chosen area rug. The best quality area rugs can become both an anchor to a room and a piece of art for your floor. Bringing understated style, softness and texture, they also add cushioning and warmth to tile, hardwood, and polished concrete floors. Luxury area rugs aren't just there to look and feel good: they dampen sound and minimise echoes, absorb the impact of high foot traffic and tie the mise-en-scene of your room together.

Sheepskin Rug

A quality area rug will bring a touch of timeless luxury to a new home (whether a new build or new to you!) or renovation. In fact, some interior designers advise beginning with your area rug and then selecting wall colors, furniture and other items (such as throw cushions) depending on your area rugs statement style. Boho eclectic, contemporary farmhouse or urban chic, choosing the right rug is about finding the one that will be long-lasting, inspired to complement your home decor and lifestyle for years to come.

How can you tell if a rug is good quality?

When searching for a new indoor rug, you want a rug that matches your own tastes, a rug that will endure, and a rug that is worth the price. A rug is only as good as the materials and skill with which it is manufactured, and in order for a rug to withstand everyday usage and wear, it must be made from high-quality materials. So when looking for a new designer rug, you should first determine the material it is made of.

The best quality rugs are composed of authentic fibres such as wool, jute, cotton or silk. Here's where it's a good idea to try before you buy. Rubbing the fabric between your fingertips is an excellent way to test the material. If there is a lot of shedding, the rug is of an inferior quality. When shopping for a luxury rug, search for fibres that will bring a decadent, unique and inspired look and feel to your space, such as hand knotted or woven silk, or 100% wool.

What are the most durable rugs?

Wool rugs are the most durable, as the woollen fibres are tough and long-lasting. Wool fibre can be bent 20,000 times without breaking and still has the power to recover and return to its original shape. This means your natural sheepskin product will retain its original appearance and style for longer.

Sheepskin Rug

Compared with silk, cotton, jute or hemp rugs which may fray or wear thin over a long period of time, a wool are rug will endure for generations.

What is the most comfortable rug?

While jute and hemp rugs are made from natural fibres and look great, they are not soft! Hand-knotted, hand-tufted and other non-machine made rugs bring a level of comfort underfoot that machine-made or synthetic rugs cannot. They are often made by artisans and part of a centuries-old tradition.

If you are looking for a lounging concept which invites you to kick your shoes off and lay down on your luxury area rug, why not try a 1000% long pile wool, Wilson & Dorset rug? When shopping at our concept store, the opportunity to unwind and test drive our luxury rugs is taken up by many of our visitors, and is all part of our customer service. We do warn you though, that once you nestle into the luxury rugs, you may not want to leave!

Why are wool rugs better?

Not only are wool rugs the most comfortable, shop around and you'll find they are also a superior choice for so many more reasons. Instead of scratchy synthetics, wool is a natural option when it comes to investing in a luxury area rug. Wool is a natural insulator and odour suppressor, 100% biodegradable, stain-resistant, non-allergenic, flame resistant, robust and elastic.

Wool is a very resilient and long-lasting fibre, and a well-cared-for woollen rug can be handed down for generations. Wool rugs are more durable, adaptable and natural, and they feel and look better than synthetics.

Here are our top 10 reasons why wool rugs are better:

Wool rugs are... Energy efficient

Produced from completely renewable and natural resources such as water, sunlight and grass, wool uses significantly less energy to source than synthetic fibres. By reducing heat loss and rise through flooring, wool rugs minimises heating and cooling energy requirements.

...Forgiving and easy to maintain

Making vacuuming easier, wool does not collect lint. When spot cleaning, the fibres expand and release dirt particles.

...Made from a sustainable and ethical fibre

With sheep happily grazing on grass, wool grows continually, being shorn every 9 - 12 months and returned to their fields. The sheepskin used in Wilson & Dorset wool rugs is sustainably grown and ethically sourced in New Zealand. These sheepskins are the biproduct of pastoral farming where sheep are raised primarily for meat. By utilising the sheepskin, we are making full use of this resource.

... A safe and healthy choice

Wool is flame resistant, offering a greater level of fire safety than other fibres. Wool’s inherent fire resistance comes from its high moisture and protein content, requiring higher levels of oxygen in the surrounding environment in order to ignite. This also means it does not melt or drip, has a minimal flame spread, and great self-extinguishing characteristics.

... Comforting and responsive

Unlike synthetics, wool is an active fibre with a complex structure that reacts to changes in body temperature and changes in the environment, keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Wool gives tactile comfort since it is resistant to static electricity and slides. It also has great sound absorption and heat insulating capabilities, providing year-round comfort.

... Hypo-allergenic

Sheepskin fibre has a thin waxy coating called lanolin. A naturally occuring substance, lanolin contains fatty acids that repel water, dust, and grime. This, in turn, prevents the formation of allergy-causing bacteria, mould, mildew, and dust mites.

... 100% biodegradable

Natural sheepskin is a durable, long lasting material that, luckily for us and our planet, is 100 % biodegradable. Rugs made from natural sheepskin have a long and luscious life span. If the day comes when they are past their useful life, they will biodegrade naturally, returning to the land from which they came.

... Stain and dirt resistant

Unlike synthetic rugs, natural sheepskin rugs do not need to be washed on a regular basis. The waxy outer coating of wool fibre helps to repel liquids. This means if you accidentally spill anything on your rug, it is likely to simply roll off. Any residue left behind can be easily wiped away. 

... An air quality controller

Airborne pollutants and odour molecules are absorbed and neutralised by the fibre, effectively becoming trapped and less readily detected by the human nose.

... Crush resistant

Naturally curly, wool fibre will bounce back into shape when crushed.

How long do wool rugs last?

When well cared for, sheepskin rugs will last for a lifetime. To maintain the the integrity of the luxury sheepskin rug, you will need to follow the care instructions, generally found on the reverse of the rug.

What is a good rug thickness?

The long and short of it is, it's is really a personal choice.

Think about where the area rug will be placed in your living space and how you want to use it. If in your living room and for lounging on, thick, cosy and comfortable, long pile wool is best. If the rug is to be positioned in a high traffic area like a hallway, you might need to clean it a lot, so a shorter pile may be better. There are no hard and fast rules. Just think in practical terms and for style: what suits your home decor and the people who live, work and play in the space?

Wilson & Dorset's collection of luxury rugs come in four different lengths, so the choice is yours when looking for the perfect rug length.

Are wool rugs good for high traffic areas?

Yes! Designer wool rugs are durable and soft at the same time. High traffic areas like next to your bed or along a busy thoroughfare in your home generally suit a short wool pile, which is easier to clean.

Do wool rugs shed?

If you've invested in a beautiful sheepskin rug for your home, don't be alarmed if there is a little shedding in the first few months. It's not an indication of poor quality; all woollen rugs will shed as part of a normal "settling in" process and it will settle down over a couple of months.

There are a few easy steps you can take to manage the shedding:

Avoid over-vacuuming ! Vacuuming can pull the fibres away from the rug, causing even more shedding. If you must vacuum, avoid using powerful suction and instead use a hand-held suction piece to prevent putting more pressure on your rug than necessary. This will only increase shedding and damage the wool fibres.

Rather than vacuuming, consider sweeping your rug, which can be just as effective in eliminating dirt and dust. Invest in a specialty broom that is gentle on your rug and any tufted edges while cleaning it.

Clean up spills and stains by acting quickly to "contain the stain", then scraping off the imposter material, and following our sheepskin rug cleaning guide according to the type of spillage.

Another option to care for your wool rug is to use an underlay or non-slip pad to minimise the impact of people walking across it. An underlay acts as a cushion between your rug and the floor. It will not only assist minimise shedding, but it will also add another layer of delicious softness as you walk or lie on your luxury rug.

How much should you spend on a rug?

An area rug is a foundation piece, like a piece of art, pulling a room together. It is best to buy once and buy well, purchasing a unique luxurious rug that feels oh so gorgeous to touch, and will age as gracefully as a fine wine. Shop around, save up and splash out at the next sale, because area rugs can adorn your home beautifully if you choose the perfect product.

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